DVD +/- RW format war.
April 12, 2004 4:03 PM   Subscribe

I am thinking of buying an internal DVD burner for my PC. A DVD-RW unit costs about 70% of what a DVD+RW one does. I understand that the +R format is supposed to be "better", but less compatible than the -R one. Which should I get?

This is the CD-R model, this is the CD+R one. Both links in spanish, but the specs probly don't need translation.
posted by signal to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Get a multiformat burner that does them all. I just bought an 8X DVD burner that does all of them (+R -R +RW -RW and all the CD formats, too) for $140, retail (Best Buy). The brand is Lite-On, which may as well be Bob's Brand for all I know about them, but mine works, and a buddy with one also has nothing but praise for his.

Just looked at the properties. It's a Lite-On DVDRW LDW-851S.
posted by NortonDC at 4:18 PM on April 12, 2004

Get a drive that does both. You can pick up an 8x DVD+/-R drive for under $100 in the US, adjust prices accordingly for your area. I'm waiting for the NEC 2500A drive to get around the $80 mark myself.
posted by riffola at 4:19 PM on April 12, 2004

Looks to me like the Pioneer one you linked does +RW and -RW, signal.
posted by fvw at 5:24 PM on April 12, 2004

I thought it was the other way around -- that -R/RW is less compatible and +R/RW is more compatible.
posted by zztzed at 5:28 PM on April 12, 2004

I bought a DVD+RW first, becaise the drives were actually cheaper. I found that by and large, the DVD+RW recorders are hitting higher speeds faster than the DVD-RW drives, but unless you insist on being one of the 5% of people out there with an 8x DVD burner, that's not really an issue.

I eventually bought a DVD-RW drive also, for the following reasons:

1) Cheaper media for DVD-R
2) Macs can't read DVD+Rs of any kind, no way, no how.
3) DVD movies burned on DVD-R are compatible with slightly more console players out there (according to my sources, zzted, which I will attempt to dig up now).

#2 might now be an issue for you immediately, but think of it as something that might come up at any time.

I don't think I'll be burning any more DVD+Rs, frankly, but if you want to avoid the agony of choosing, just get a dual mode.
posted by scarabic at 7:39 PM on April 12, 2004

According to this page at dvdrhelp.com, DVD-R is compatible with ~93% of players and DVD+R with ~87%. More breakdown at the link... Getting one that does both is ideal (the LG GSA-4040B I can vouch for), but if you need to get one or the other, check out the DVD Player comatability (elsewhere on the dvdrhelp.com site), and make sure you're buying something that will burn in whatever format your standalone DVD player can handle.
posted by Gortuk at 7:42 PM on April 12, 2004

"DVD-R is a non-rewriteable format and it is compatible with about 93% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs
DVD+R is a non-rewritable format and it is compatible with about 87% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs."

Much more info here.

on preview - what Gortuk said.
posted by scarabic at 7:47 PM on April 12, 2004

I'd suggest waiting until the dual-layer drives come down in price, honestly. Double the capacity, and all...
posted by Jairus at 8:48 PM on April 12, 2004

Response by poster: Good info everybody, thanks.
posted by signal at 9:29 PM on April 12, 2004

Lite-on has a good reputation as a quality "no-name" brand. It's also what I've got in my PC, and I've had no problems with it, although I haven't done any intense DVD authoring.
posted by falconred at 11:18 PM on April 12, 2004

Hmm. I guess I was misinformed! Ah well. My +R/RW drive can burn video DVDs that play in my three-year-old PS2, and I guess that's good enough for me.

(It's zztzed, by the way.)
posted by zztzed at 4:40 AM on April 13, 2004

Lite-On is a great brand - I've got one of their 48/12/48 CD burners in my Mac at home, and it's gone through about 400-500 blank CDs without blinking.

I'll be buying their 48x CD burner / 4x DVD (+/-) burner combo drive soon.
posted by mrbill at 8:44 AM on April 13, 2004

I'd suggest waiting until the dual-layer drives come down in price, honestly. Double the capacity, and all...

That is a possibility that I considered when purchasing a multi-format drive a couple of weeks ago (for the honorable purpose of getting episodes of recent tv via bit torrent to burn. . . I'm just now mourning the cancellation of "Wonderfalls"), but the concensus seems to be that, while the drives will be available soon (and for only a small premium over single layer drives), the media will not be particularly easy to find for a while (much the same as, I would expect, the current dearth of 8x media). I've been satisfied with the single layer "+R" discs I've burned thus far (both in terms of capacity and compatibility), though compatibility with "+RW" discs is dicey at best.
posted by hoboynow at 5:31 PM on April 13, 2004

Response by poster: Just in case anybody stumbles upon this, I finally bought this Super Multi DVD Drive, reads/writes everything.
posted by signal at 5:18 PM on May 3, 2004

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